Does anyone remember Atlanta’s infamous Snowmageddon? It happened in 2014 when 2.3 inches of snow essentially shut down the city for an entire week.
Atlanta had done little to prepare so business and schools did not shut down until snow began to fall. This meant everyone hit the roads to drive home…at the same time. A normally staggered rush hour turned into traffic so bad that some people abandoned their gridlocked cars because walking was faster.
Needless to say, quite a few lessons were learned that day, but one of the most poignant was the importance of preparation and a well-thought-out plan of attack.
So how is this all relevant to my maintenance and support team?
Let’s say you work for a major e-commerce retailer and it’s Black Friday. Now imagine getting simultaneously hit with your typical stream of tickets AND the influx of time-sensitive support requests.
If the thought makes you break into a nervous sweat…take a deep breath and stick with us. We will walk you through why setting team goals is a smart strategy to prepare for peak times AND what kind of goals will prove most effective in preventing maintenance gridlock.
Working Regular Goals Setting into Your Maintenance and Support Strategy
Setting team goals and implementing a plan to achieve those goals benefits your team two-fold.
First, regularly measuring progress prevents complacency and provides tangible data to prove the value of your team.
Secondly, these objectives give you the opportunity to strategically prepare for anticipated spikes in support requests or dips in team bandwidth.
So let’s look back at the snowmageddon example, consider how traffic would have been impacted if schools had been preemptively closed or 20% of employees opted to work from home that day.
Similarly, by setting a goal to clear ticket backlog in preparation for peak season, the influx of requests will become much more manageable.
Ok, so we have made the case for setting goals as a service team, what kind of goals will be the most beneficial?
Let’s think about the key objectives of a maintenance and support team. An effective team will resolve tickets to 1. Ensure the application is running smoothly AND 2. Keep customers happy.
Finding ways to resolve tickets effectively and quickly is a critical step in achieving those goals.
Reducing Ticket Backlog
As we mentioned before, reducing ticket backlog is a great way to prepare for an increase in support requests or a decrease in staff.
To implement this goal, start a few weeks or months prior to peak season. Identify how many backlogged tickets are currently in the queue and set a realistic number you want to be resolved prior to peak season
By giving your team a measurable goal, you can evenly distribute work to clear the backlog. Doing so will free up your teams’ bandwidth to handle the influx of pressing issues during peak season or fill in any gaps when you are short staffed.
Reduce Time to Resolve Tickets
Reducing ticket resolution time should be an ongoing goal for your service team. More efficiently resolving requests increases your team’s capacity and makes it easier to handle additional tickets when they arise.
There are a few strategies you can put in place to improve efficiency. The first is to implement a well-defined training protocol for routine maintenance requests. The second is to track workflows and identify support bottlenecks. Knowing where your team can improve gives you the insight you need to do so, ultimately improving the velocity at which you can address maintenance issues.
Reduce the Number of Touchpoints Prior to Resolution
A bad customer support experience can make or break an application’s reputation. An important aspect of maintaining this reputation is resolving tickets efficiently with as little impact to the customer as possible.
To reduce the number of necessary touchpoints, you want to gather as much information as possible in that initial contact. By effectively gathering information, you increase your chances of resolving the ticket quickly or if the ticket does need to be escalated, you will provide adequate background information for the next stage of resolution.
So there you have it, a few handy goals that will help your team prepare for the next maintenance blizzard. If your team sets regular goals, let us know which metrics have you found most helpful.
Looking for more resources to get through peak season? Check out our post on how to prepare your application!